Britain and the Empire: the 1807 abolition of the slave trade

Course Dates: 23/06/22 - 28/07/22
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: Mixed Mode (Online and In Person)
Why did the British slave trade end in 1807 despite its apparent financial advantages? Historians have long debated the reasons for the abolition of the slave trade, variously citing economic, social, political and moral factors. How can we reconcile these competing theories over the reasons why the slave trade ended?
This course will be delivered online and in person. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £57.00

This course has now started

Course Code: HBH42

Started Thu, day, 23 Jun - 28 Jul '22

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Using contemporary eighteenth and nineteenth sources including speeches, pamphlets and poetry, we will move away from mono-causal historical explanations to examine the various factors that influenced the abolition of the slave trade, including parliamentary pressures, public protests, the work of British and African campaigners, the rise of industry, European relations and slave resistance, rebellions and revolutions.

Please note the first session of this course on Thursday 23 June takes place online via Zoom, and all subsequent sessions will be held in-person at City Lit, Keeley Street.

This course will be delivered online and in person, and will involve tutor presentation and class discussion. Student preparation and homework outside class times is strongly encouraged. To fully participate in this online class you will need:
- An email address
- A reliable internet connection
- A computer/laptop/tablet with a fully updated browser (preferably google chrome). Your device will need a microphone, and preferably a camera.

What will we cover?

• The legal status of slaves in Britain & the 1772 Mansfield Judgement
• Black Britons & the significance of Black activists in Britain
• Petitions, pamphlets and the Sugar Boycott
• Anti-slavery themes in art, poetry and pottery
• Religion and the work of the Clapham Sect
• Thomas Clarkson, William Wilberforce & Parliament
• The rise of industry and mechanised labour in Britain
• The impact of the Haitian Revolution & slave resistance
• The impact of the Napoleonic Wars
• Changing concepts of imperialism
• Planter protests, the Caribbean economy & the continuation of slavery as a system of labour.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Critically assess different historical approaches to the abolition of the slave trade
• Evaluate the significance of public protests in raising awareness of the slave trade
• Identify the contributions of black activists
• Evaluate the role of British religious sects in raising awareness of the issue
• Assess the impact of parliamentary pressure on the abolition of the slave trade
• Identify the ways in which the Haitian Revolution affected attitudes towards the slave trade
• Assess the impact of the Napoleonic Wars on legislation targeted at ending the slave trade
• Identify the ways in which slave resistance affected the slave trade
• Evaluate the impact of changing industrial relations on slave labour.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge of the subject is required. An open mind and willingness to engage constructively with this topic is essential.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Through lectures, discussions, debates and class activities. A Google Classroom with optional extended reading will be available, together with a reading list

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

.No. Please bring a pen and notebook/paper to class.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Other courses in British and Global history. Please see the City Lit website.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.